- 8-day tour to the west of Ireland from Dublin
- Travel to County Cork, stopping at attractions like the Rock of Cashel and Blarney
- Arrange additional optional activities with your guide
- Get to know Dingle, the tiny village that boasts more than 50 lively Irish pubs
What You Can Expect
With an expert local guide, passionate about the Irish countryside, culture and people, visit Ireland’s Atlantic Coast, taking in all the spectacular windswept sights around the Beara Peninsula. Spend two days following the Ring of Kerry route around Iveragh Peninsula and discover exactly what draws people to this area of unsurpassed natural beauty. Find white, sandy beaches lapped by the crashing waves of the Atlantic, tumbling waterfalls and deep forests.
Your 8-day tour is mostly spent at leisure, but your guide can help you organize additional activities (at your own expense). Examples include kayaking in Adrigole Bay, a boat ride to the UNESCO-listed Skellig Islands, a beach-side barbeque or horse riding. Should you choose to skip the additional activities, then rest assured, your guide will show you the very best that the towns and countryside of West Ireland have to offer. Simply tell your guide at the start of each day what activities you plan to do.
Spend time in the picturesque town of Dingle with its brightly colored houses and lively Irish pubs, and venture into heart of west Ireland’s Gaelic-speaking region in Connemara. Explore gorgeous County Clare and take a tour of 15th-century Listowel Castle.
On your eighth afternoon, leave the countryside of west Ireland behind and head back to Dublin, where you’ll arrive in the early evening.
Please see the Itinerary below for details on each day of the tour.
Head southwest from Dublin to the wild countryside of West Cork by air-conditioned minivan. Your journey includes plenty of stops at some of Ireland's must-see attractions on the way. See Curragh Racecourse where Braveheart was set, and stop to explore the Rock of Cashel, a fascinating Celtic Cathedral near Cork (entry at own expense). Enjoy free time for lunch in Blarney before leaving the tourist trail behind you. Following the River Lee to Gougane Barra – Ireland’s first national park – you’ll pass breathtaking scenery before arriving at your overnight accommodation in the heart of County Cork.
Overnight: 3-star Gougane Barra Hotel in Macroom
Day 2: Macroom – Beara Peninsula – Kenmare (B)
Head to Ireland’s Atlantic coast to discover the wonderfully windswept Beara Peninsula at leisure. Walk along the spectacular coastline at Bantry Bay or stroll to Glengarriff to spot seals; your guide will point you in the right direction to find the best spots! Go kayaking in Adrigole Bay or perhaps visit some of region’s castles (both activities at your own expense). Relax over a hearty Irish lunch in McCarthy's Bar before heading to the town of Kenmare for dinner and live folk music. On the way, pass gorgeous views of the Caher Mountains and Sheepshead Peninsula.
Overnight: 3-star Coachman Inn or The Brass Lantern in Kenmare
Day 3: Kenmare – Ring of Kerry – Portmagee, County Kerry (B)
After a relaxing morning at leisure, hop on board your minivan for a day of exploring the world-famous Ring of Kerry route on the Iveragh Peninsula! Stop for walks on sandy beaches framed by the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range, and walk along the Old Kenmare Road in Killarney National Park. Visit a family run sheep farm to see sheep shearing by hand, and explore a Celtic ring at Staigue Fort. At your own expense, enjoy a barbeque on Derrynane Beach before spending the night in the remote fishing village of Portmagee.
Overnight: 3-star The Moorings Guesthouse in Portmagee
Day 4: Portmagee – Ring of Kerry – Dingle (B)
Continue along the northern half of the Ring of Kerry, around Iveragh Peninsula to reach Dingle Bay. Here you have a choice of several activities to do at your own expense: perhaps go horse-back riding at Rossbeigh Strand; visit Lough Annascaul Waterfalls; or take a boat ride to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Skellig Islands. Sit down for lunch with your guide at Tom Crean’s South Pole Inn, and then arrive in the tiny town of Dingle where you’ll spend the night. Boasting more than 50 pubs to serve a tiny population of 2,000 people, Dingle is sure to offer you a great night out on the tiles!
Overnight: 3-star Dingle Bay Hotel in Dingle
Day 5: Dingle (B)
Spend the day at your leisure, enjoying Dingle and the surrounding peninsula. You can do as little or as much as you want! Perhaps take a tour of the Dingle Peninsular to Slea Head – Ireland’s most westerly point, or walk to Dun Chaoin Harbour. Alternatively your guide can arrange additional activities at your own expense: bike rental, surf-board hire, a boat trip, or even a cooking lesson to learn traditional Irish recipes.
Overnight: 3-star Dingle Bay Hotel in Dingle
Day 6: Dingle – Tralee or Listowel -- Ennistymon, County Clare (B)
Head north, leaving Dingle and the mountains of the southwest behind. Travel by minivan along Conor Pass, Ireland's highest road, and cross River Shannon by ferry to reach County Clare. Take lunch at leisure in Tralee or Listowel, after which you can take a complimentary tour of Listowel Castle. Continue to the village of Ennistymon to spend your night at leisure.
Overnight: 3-star The Cliffs of Moher Hotel, County Clare
Day 7: Ennistymon – Galway Bay or Aran Islands – Connemara (B)
Choose between staying with your guide and exploring Galway Bay by ferry, or exploring the Aran Islands independently by ferry from nearby Doolin. If you choose the latter, you can also opt to take another ferry north to Connemara in County Galway.
In the afternoon, re-group and head north through the Burren – a unique landscape of rolling hills covered with limestone – before visiting Poulnabrone Dolmen, a Megalithic tomb. Visit Kinvarra village to see Dunguire Castle and pass through the Mamturk Mountains where you can stretch your legs on a walk. You can also opt to walk through the Connemara National Park or visit Kylemore Abbey (own expense), known as one of Ireland’s most beautiful buildings.
Overnight: 3-star Abbeyglen Castle Hotel, Connemara
Day 8: Connemara – Killary Harbour – Galway – Dublin (B)
Leaving Connemara, travel toward Galway on board your minivan. Take a walk with your guide along the Famine Trail on the shore of Killary Harbour, or stroll along the shores of Lake Corrib, soaking up amazing views. Arrive at the vibrant city of Galway, where you’ll have roughly two hours to sightsee at leisure. The peaceful harbor area is the entrance to Galway Bay, and is perfect for a spot of relaxation before returning to Dublin. On the route back, pass through County Mayo, Roscommon, Longford and Meath before enjoying one last optional stop at Locke’s Whiskey Distillery in Kilbeggan. Arrive back in Dublin in the early evening.
The tour and guides were phenomenal! Our only asterisk is that Viator did not keep us abreast of the local tour operator's touring schedule - to the point that the trip disappeared from the Viator web site We missed out on their disseminated information..
Highly recommend this tour. We had a very amiable group of 12 plus the guide in a small van. Try to do everything that is offered ... the tour is so much better when you experience everything. The one change I would suggest is that more food be included in the fee. The only meal provided was breakfast, so we were always looking for lunch and dinner on our own unless we ate dinner in the hotels. The hotels were all nice (3 to 4 star as advertised). Travel between sites does take time, but the guide will tell you history or interesting facts or just play music if tired of talking. Since we would never try to drive to all the places we saw, we recommend this tour if you want to see all the sites listed on the itinerary.